The honesty of children

It’s been a few rough weeks.  Storm damage and power outages.  Mother Nature is not showing me the love and I’ve been very blue. I’ve been struggling with diet and exercise and unable to lose pounds because I’m battling health issues (PCOS and its evil companion metabolic syndrome) that work against me.  It’s highly frustrating to work out eight to ten hours a week and see the scale stagnate or creep up slowly.  My weight has been the cause for many tears lately and my confidence in any of my abilities has bottomed out, my self-worth directly connected to the number on the scale.

I’ve learned to find joy in the smaller things, non-scale related, this past week.

This week my Tony started swimming lessons.  He went from knowing nothing but how to sink really well, to turning into Mr. Limpet.  My little fish took to swimming like, well, a fish!  Two days as a polliwog and he got kicked out for knowing too much.  He was back stroking all over the pool!

I sat in the little windowed vestibule watching my bambino swim along with all the other moms.  All the other skinny moms, I should add.  A little boy who couldn’t have been more than three came over and asked, quite unashamed, “Why is your belly so big?”  My face turned red and his dad swooped him away from me as if I had leprosy.  Later, the dad came back.

“I’m sorry about what my son said.  He hasn’t developed a filter.”

I smiled.  “Don’t worry about it.  If I had a nickel for every time my kids embarrassed me I’d be rich.”

He quickly moved away again.

It made me think of a birthday party for my youngest niece, Kaitlyn, that I attended recently.

Alexandria was playing in her sand box with friends, too much fun going on to give her aunt even a second of her time.  I said to her, “You know, I’ve been here a couple of hours and I’ve yet to get a hug from you.  What’s up with that?”

She smiled her best smile and raced over to me with her arms outstretched.  She slammed into me, wrapping her arms around my sadly huge belly.  “I love hugging your big old tummy, Aunt Miranda.”

“Well, I’m working hard to lose this belly.  With any luck there won’t be much belly there to hug someday,” I said, feeling more than a little sad at the honesty of small children.

She looked at me and said, “Oh, my gosh, I hope not!  I like that you’re so soft!”

I nearly cried, and hugged her harder.

On days like today when the living room is done painting and I’m looking at Tony and Jimmy and trying to determine who is wearing more paint than the wall, when Rosie is dumping her dog food all over the kitchen because she’s angry with me, and I’m feeling fatter than ever because I’m surrounded by long, thin super moms and dads, I’ll remember that Alexandria likes her auntFunny-Weight-loss-Cartoon-W630 huggably soft.

And the scale doesn’t have the first clue about that.


About Miranda Gargasz

Miranda Gargasz is a freelance writer. Many of her essays can be found on sites like ScaryMommy, The Christian Science Monitor and The Huffington Post. In 2014, she published Lemonade and Holy Stuff and in 2016 she published Plus Size Mama: An overweight mom gets real about weight loss. She is also a contributor to Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, and Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever. Her debut novel, Haunting Suspicion, is being sent to agents for representation. She is currently working on her second novel, Dragonfly, about learning to love what you have before it's gone.
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2 Responses to The honesty of children

  1. Oh dear, kids are a hoot. I have a story a bit like yours. My dad had a dear friend whom everyone affectionately called Dale the Whale. When he came to Miami to visit us when my brother was three and notoriously filterless my parents coached him before Dale’s arrival to not say the word “fat.” So what does Tyce say–so focused on NOT using the word FAT? He leans over and asks Dale, “So how much do you weigh now?” God, my parents could have killed him!

    Hang in there, dear Sista. I love you!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Poor Tyce! He followed their advice to the letter…I trust little kids to be honest more than most adults, sadly. Bless their filterless hearts! I just feel bad that some adults take that curiosity as rudeness. Yes, they need to be taught that some things aren’t polite to ask, but there’s a lesson to be learned in the answer of that honest question, also.

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